Press releases, 31.08.2022

At its meeting on 31 August 2022, the Federal Council was informed of the outcome regarding the consultation of the Foreign Affairs Committees on the thematic priorities for Switzerland's seat in the UN Security Council. The priorities have thus been definitively adopted. During its term in the Security Council, Switzerland will focus on sustainable peace, the protection of civilians, more effectiveness and climate security.

At its meeting on 25 May, the Federal Council put forward its priorities for the UN Security Council and submitted them to the Foreign Affairs Committees (FAC) of the National Council and the Council of States. The committees welcomed the proposals and asked the Federal Council to emphasise certain points, namely food security, human rights and the rule of law. All four priorities take into account the close links between human rights and peace and security.  

The definitive priorities for Switzerland's seat on the Security Council in 2023/24 following the outcome of the consultation are:

1. Building sustainable peace
Peacebuilding and conflict prevention are foreign policy priorities for Switzerland. Switzerland is respected worldwide as a credible and neutral mediator. In the UN Security Council, it will work to ensure that the body fully assumes its role in preventing conflicts. Furthermore, Switzerland will emphasise respect for human rights, the protection of minorities and the equal participation of women in crisis prevention and peace processes.

2. Protecting civilians
In keeping with its humanitarian tradition, Switzerland will work in the UN Security Council to strengthen and encourage better compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflict. The focus will be on food security, human rights and the rights of minorities, and the protection of refugees in conflict zones.

3. Enhancing effectiveness
A Security Council that enjoys broad-based support and has the capacity to take effective action is in the interest of both the international community and Switzerland. For 15 years, Switzerland has been advocating for greater transparency and accountability, and the inclusion of non-members in the work of the Security Council. Switzerland will also advocate for the strengthening of the ombudsperson's mandate in the UN Security Council sanctions system. Improved procedural guarantees for UN sanctions regimes will strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed by the Security Council, and thus its credibility.

4. Addressing climate security
Climate change and security are closely linked. The consequences of climate change also affect Switzerland's security. One of Switzerland's goals in the Security Council is therefore to anchor this topic more firmly in the agenda and bring Switzerland's expertise in this area to the table.

Preparations under way ahead of January 2023
From October 2022, Switzerland will have observer status on the UN Security Council. It will be able to attend all meetings, but will not yet have a vote. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) will use this time to review and adjust internal coordination and decision-making processes in the run up to 1 January 2023, when assumes its seat.

Further information:

Switzerland's priorities for serving on the UN Security Council
Q&A: Switzerland and the UN Security Council
Consultation: Switzerland's role in the UN Security Council, press release, National Council Foreign Affairs Committee, 28.06.2022 (de, fr, it)

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